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What It’s Like Working in Student Life at Barnard

So, as you all know, I am a freshman. Not only am I a freshman, but I am a freshman who started her journey at Barnard in a pandemic and therefore spent the first half of her freshman year at home on her laptop. You can, then, imagine the sheer relief I felt when we were allowed to come back to campus for our second semester. Given the circumstances and the state of things, my priorities were composed purely of academics and having a relatively solid social life. Keep in mind that I did not even think it was possible to get a job the second semester of my freshman year in the middle of a pandemic; I just did not see it as a possibility.

You can imagine my surprise when I was personally offered a job that offered a good amount of money the second day I was on campus. Yep, you guessed it, it was a scam, and I lost a good sum of money. After that, I really just stopped the whole job search process until I came across a job to work as a facilitator for Deep BLUE and be a community educator for Barnard’s student life. Last semester, I happened to participate in Deep BLUE, which is, for those of you who don’t know, a group that meets once a week to foster a dialogue about social justice-related concepts. I loved this experience so much that I felt like it would be a missed opportunity if I didn’t interview for this job. And, hey, it worked out! I really want to spread awareness about this group and student life here at Barnard so, if it’s okay with you, I am going to chat about this experience for a bit.

Let me give you a little information about Deep BLUE. Last semester was the first time they did the program and I decided to join because it seemed like a great way to meet new people and of course, learn from them. I was right. Deep BLUE taught me so much about really pressing matters in the social justice world. But not only did we learn about hot topics in the real-world, we learned about each other and all of our identities, how we each present ourselves to others and how we deal with difficult situations when it comes to holding those identities. 

Now, as a facilitator, there is a lot more to learn. I work with five other people, three of which are students, to come up with the best way to foster a healthy, but not always comfortable, environment for our participants. Each meeting is about two hours long, so we have to plan out what we are going to talk about and how we are going to get each participant to be vulnerable with the group, without making it seem like trauma bonding. It is a lot of hard work, but the results are always worth it. I highly recommend joining Deep BLUE just to see if it’s for you because it seriously is a life-changing program that really gets to the root of the problems discussed. 

The other part of my job is being a community educator. I work with one other community educator and together we put together monthly discussions called BLUE Chats. These are hour-long discussions that deal with pop culture social justice issues. For example, last month we did a BLUE Chats about choice and neo-liberal feminism and how we can identify the two on different social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. 

You can join all of these BLUE Chats if you want to, which I also highly recommend. We will be hosting another one on March 17th — you can look out for the details on the Barnard Student Life Instagram page!

Aria Narang

Columbia Barnard '24

Hi! My name is Aria Narang and I absolutely love writing! I am a singer/songwriter and have written over 50 songs and also have a couple of them out on Spotify! I am very excited to write for Her Campus!
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